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Harm against children


Children and young people can feel the effects of childhood trauma and maltreatment for the rest of their lives. This indicator looks at the prevalence of children exposed to family violence and abuse.

Every child and young person has the right to be safe and protected from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation. This also means that they shouldn't be punished in a cruel or degrading way.

Reducing children's exposure to violence, both as victims and witnesses to family violence and sexual violence is very important to their long term wellbeing.

The effects of trauma and maltreatment experienced in childhood can result in long-term physical and mental health consequences including depression, anxiety disorders, drug abuse and suicidal behaviour.

A number of studies have found that physical punishment is not only ineffective, but also has many of the same long term negative effects as child abuse. Supplementary data on parents' use of physical punishment on their children (aged under 15) from the annual New Zealand Health Survey will also be included. Future updates will include self-reported data on young people's exposure to family violence.

This indicator relates to the 'loved, safe and nurtured' outcome.

How will this be measured

  • This indicator will be measured by the proportion of reports of concern to Oranga Tamariki that require further action.
  • This information is updated quarterly and is available here:
  • This indicator will also be measured by data in the Youth Health and Wellbeing Survey - 'WhatAboutMe?', which will ask young people (aged 12-18) whether, in the last 12 months, they have been hit or physically hurt, or have seen others in the home being hit or physically hurt by adults in the places where they usually live.
  • Baseline data from the Youth Health and Wellbeing Survey - 'WhatAboutMe?' is expected in 2021.
  • This indicator will be updated annually in November. 

For more information

  • If you are experiencing or witnessing violence, want to change your own behaviour, or are worried about someone else - a child, friend, neighbour, or workmate - then get help now. It is OK to ask for help.
    • Call the 0800 Family Violence Information Line (0800 456 450) or visit:
    • The Family Violence Information Line provides self-help information and connects people to services where appropriate. It is available seven days a week, from 9am to 11pm, with an after-hours message redirecting callers in the case of an emergency.
  • For more data and information on the New Zealand Health survey visit:
  • For more information about the Youth Health and Wellbeing Survey - 'WhatAboutMe?' visit:
Last updated: 
Thursday, 23 July 2020